SAPPHIRE LEGAL - Employment, Unemployment, Construction & Real Estate Attorney
As one of Kristi's client's eloquently put it, "Kristi is an attorney with a soul." She practices law because she is driven to help regular people solve complex problems that impact their daily lives. As Kristi has had challenges in life too, she empathetically relates to what her clients are going through. The legal system is intimidating and can make the problem feel much bigger and impossible to solve. Kristi puts her clients at ease with simple and clear explanations and solutions. She has a personal touch and genuinely wants to help.
Kristi graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2003. She practiced at large and medium sized law firms in Seattle and Everett, first as an associate attorney and then as a shareholder, until she became seriously ill in 2015. While she was on medical leave, she lost her job as a shareholder at a firm in downtown Seattle, which devastated her. To make matters worse, her claim for long-term disability benefits was denied, which left her without an income and created financial hardship. Although she would not want to have these experiences again, they ended up being a blessing in disguise.
When Kristi felt well enough to return to work, joining another law firm was not in her plans. Motivated to help others due to her own experience, she formed Sapphire Legal in September of 2017 working from her home part-time. She changed her practice from defending businesses and insurance companies to representing people, primarily employees with problems in the workplace. Helping real people solve legal problems reignited Kristi's passion for the law and reminded her why she went to law school in the first place.
Because Kristi has experienced the turmoil and grief of losing a job first-hand, she knows what her clients are going through and she treats them with empathy and compassion. Kristi's representation and advice are personalized for each client based on their goals, as they know their needs better than she does. She then works with them to form a strategy to obtain the goals they identify. As a result of her client-focused practice, Kristi was recognized as a Client Champion in 2019, 2020, and 2021 by Martindale-Hubbell (a trusted legal resource since 1868) based on confidential client interviews it conducted.
Kristi grew up in a middle-class family. Her parents and grandparents were hard workers, and she adopted their work ethic. She earned good grades in school, played sports, and started her first real job (not babysitting) at 14 years old, working part-time during the school year and full-time during summer break.
Like anyone, Kristi has experienced ups and downs in life, but she never gives up and has always persevered. Kristi became a single mother at 19 and still managed to obtain her bachelor's degree while working full-time. She then went to law school, got married, and had a baby just before graduating. Her baby boy was less than two months old when Kristi took and passed the bar exam in 2003. Suffice it to say that Kristi has drive and determination, both of which have contributed to her success as a lawyer.
Kristi wanted to be an attorney at a young age. She had a very close relationship with her paternal grandmother, who was a justice of the peace in a small desolate town in eastern Montana (she did not have a law degree nor was she an attorney). When Kristi was a little girl, she frequently went to work with her grandmother. The Court Clerk babysat her when court was in session. Being in the courtroom from such a young age motivated Kristi to become an attorney, which no one was more proud of than her grandmother.
Kristi regularly reminds her clients that she is just like them. She treats everyone with the same manners and professionalism regardless of their job title or financial status. She has a strong desire to help anyone who has a need and tries to offer affordable services in an effort to provide access to justice to anyone who needs it.
Kristi lives in South Everett near Mill Creek with her husband. They have three adult children, one minor child, and three grandsons.
J.D., University of Washington School of Law (2003)
B.A., Sociology, Heritage University (2000)
Washington State Bar Association (2003)
United States District Court, Western Washington (2004)
United States District Court, Eastern Washington (2004)
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2005)
Tulalip Tribal Court (2002)
Pro Bono Award from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children
Super Lawyers Rising Star
Pro Bono Publico Award - WSBA
Client Champion - Martindale-Hubbell (2019, 2020, 2021)